Hurricane Irma to Hit Dominican Republic; Florida Impact Likelier

Map showing the projected path of Hurricane Irma as of Thursday morning // Photo by National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Irma is headed toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti today, while the likelihood of a Florida landfall continues to increase.

According to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, Irma remains a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane that is set to bring life-threatening wind, storm surge and rain to the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and Haiti today. The storm will also impact the Turks and Caicos tonight and the Bahamas tonight through Saturday.

Looking ahead, Irma will bring dangerous wind and storm surge to Cuba Friday and Saturday, and the threat of direct impacts to Florida over the weekend and early next week continues to increase.

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti; Haiti from the Dominican Republic border to Le Mole St. Nicholas; the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos; and the central and northwestern Bahamas. A hurricane watch is in effect for Cuba from the Matanzas province eastward to the Guantanamo province, while a tropical storm warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano west to the southern border with Haiti; Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-au-Prince; and the provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin and Las Tunas in Cuba.

Hurricane watches are also likely to be issued for portions of the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula later this morning.

Hurricane Irma has devastated Barbuda, destroying as much as 90 percent of the islands buildings and vehicles. The storm has also caused heavy damage to St. Maarten, including the islands airport and several major resorts.

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